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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wizard101: The End?


Even today, I like to trick myself into thinking that by purchasing Wizard101 with crowns, I'm buying those areas forever. But, when Wizard101 is no longer a profitable enterprise, it will go. And all of my money with it. We all assume and hope that it won't be any time soon, but recent signs seem to prove otherwise. Will Wizard101 dissipate like smoke?

There are three telling signs to me that Wizard101 is nearing a close. The first is J. Todd Coleman leaving - did his game vision go with him? Read more in the first of the "Wizard101: The End?" posts HERE.

Days of Old

I've played Wizard101 for a long time. Though I never played beta, I did play the game with the launch release, starting in December of 2008. I still remember the announcement that the Test Realm was opening for Dragonspyre, and, though I never downloaded it, I am told it was very exciting and very unique.

Old Wizard101 Picture

Paige Moonshade and Johnny talked about seeing the level 48 pets in the Commons, and then helping Greyrose with some of her quests! The picture above is the oldest one I can currently find from December 18th, 2009, about a year after I started playing.

It's important to KingsIsle to keep these sort of players around. Because, at a certain point, the game really starts to grow on you, and some people like to look at things a bit more... in-depth. That's a huge marketing tactic, because it means that KingsIsle doesn't have to constantly release new content to keep people excited - the players do that for them!

Wizard101

Experience is Key

I won't always tell you that experience is the key to anything. But in this situation, it's veteran players who have a feel for how Wizard101 has worked in the past and how it works now. And making that comparison is important.

KingsIsle employees don't always get the chance to have the full game experience, and when they do, it's usually to do the content, not spend idle time in the Bazaar or hundreds of PvP matches - even I don't have time for that.

And of course, no one expects them to. That's what all the players are for  - conveying that information to KingsIsle so that they can make the necessary changes. Players have always been ready to offer feedback. But lately, something different has happened.

Some people have decided to take a nastier tone to with KingsIsle - to start calling named like CrownsIsle and essentially flaming the company with little or no real feedback involved. It was attempt simply to catch attention... and not in the right way at all. That was unacceptable and quickly taken care of. But does it indicate something bigger?

Wizard101 Krokotopia Photo

Game Veterans

For the "Wizard101: The End?" mini-series so far, I've been using other companies and/or games as examples - that applies here, too. It's actually a common sign that games are going downhill when its original players are no longer satisfied. We established the idea that these players are extremely important - what happens when we take them away?

When a game's direction changes so much that a new audience may enjoy the change but the veteran audience does not, it creates problems. Think of the company as a plank... strange, yes. But the company, like the plank, has to be flexible, but at the same time sturdy enough not to snap. When the plank undergoes significant changes - bad weather, we'll say - then it's tested. It may bend, and with too much pressure, it snaps.

Wizard101 Beta Picture

When you change the game direction, you place pressure on the company. While a new audience has no idea about how the game used to be and is satisfied, the old audience does not like the change. This creates a dangerous bend. If enough veterans leave (and I was surprised how many people used the term "CrownsIsle...) before enough new players flood in, the revenue is no longer large enough to support all of the growth from launch and operations at KingsIsle. Snap!

However, I don't believe KingsIsle is changing too much, or too fast. I think Wizard101 is doing just find as far as game direction go - but it seems that there are plenty who disagree. But are there enough?

The End?

Suppose J. Todd Coleman's leave isn't enough to signal the end of Wizard101. Maybe veteran players' retaliation isn't either. But I'm not finished yet! Is Wizard101 coming to an end? Maybe nearing an end? Or is Wizard101 just getting started!

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

24 comments:

  1. I say it with an old business quip I heard when I was young, that I will apply to the vocal critics on central and other places, " Make one customer mad they will tell ten people, make one customer happy, and you're lucky if they tell one."

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  2. It shows more signs but I am actually a veteran (joined in Feburary of '09) and have not left the game, am still entertained and enjoying it and I am certainly not calling Kingsisle that name.

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    1. He joined the game in December 2008 but oldest existing screenshot is in December 2009.

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  3. But kingsisle now have 2 games, it would slow them down with a second one, right?

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    1. If they were to lose the player base described, it'd certainly hurt Wizard101. I don't have numbers on Pirate101, though. The game may not have a large enough player base to support its individual needs yet and is still feeding off of Wizard101 revenue, in which case it would affect them. If Pirate101 has moved to the point that it can work independently of Wizard101, then this would have no impact. As far as a new game goes, that process is most certainly drawing money from both games' revenue, so that'd be affected.

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  4. Todd left for a reason. He did not leave because he knew Wizard101 would go down the hill. He left because he had a dream :D.

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    1. Of course, but why didn't he do it to start with? He was surely capable! Was this change in game direction the extra push he needed? Coleman decided that he HAD wanted to create his own game, and with the change in game direction, it was time to go.

      ;P

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  5. i just want them to finish the morganth story line before they go

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  6. Honestly, I don't see this game ending anytime soon. I've been playing this game since '09 and I am still as excited about this game since the first time I saw it on a tv ad. I think most regular players like myself enjoy playing this game. The only time I've ever seen any complaints about the game are unfortunately from fansites lol. The only thing I find disturbing is the lack of confidence from KI in not believing this game would become so successful. I think they honestly didn't know what to add after DS Malistaire.
    If anything, I'm more concerned about the future of Pirate101. This game isn't grabbing people's attention like W101. Too much of Wizard101's money has been put into P101 and it's too expensive to fail. I think P101 put a nail in the coffin by adding transportalors instead of a mark location feature.
    I find it kinda funny to see the complaints about the W101 Aquila zone prices. How does everyone expect KI to make there money back from the two new worlds they added to P101. The pirates are still living in the wizard's basement. Until the pirates can support themselves, us wizards shouldn't be surprised by price hikes.
    Even if KI says they're ending W101, I will not go back and play P101 unless they add a mark location feature. There's oh so much boredom I can take. I would just wait for the next game they make.
    Bottom line, W101 isn't going anywhere. This game is there ultimate money maker. Just because "10 people" from a fansite are unhappy, doesn't mean people like me are.

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  7. Wizard101 is not going anywhere any time soon. It is making tons of profit each year and it won't end until they stop making money, the law of business. Todd left for being an entrepreneur, he wanted to to see his company flourish, and once he saw what he had done be a success and in a position that it will continue to go without him just fine he decided to leave. You don't know what an entrepreneur is if you can't understand that much. And on a side note, story tidbits on the third story arc have been leaked. Another 5 worlds will come with that. And also Mirage will be the final world of the Morgantine arc, supposedly.

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    1. Leaks? Where'd you get the information?

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  8. Wizard101 isn't going anywhere any time soon. For the record, the third story arc has been leaked, or at least story tidbits. (That means another 5 story worlds after the morgantine arc) The next story arc's villains are the witches of doom (Greyrose's twin sisters from candyworld, Lyra and Heidi). And also the final world of the morgantine arc will be Mirage, supposedly. In a more business side of things a product doesn't leave the store until it stops selling, wizard101 is still making tons of profit all over the world and isn't laving the store anytime soon. Todd left Kingsisle not because he thought it was going down hill but because he thinks it will survive on its own. He stayed to see his company flourish, like any good entrepreneur, and left to go make new companies after it has bloomed. The fact that he left Kingsisle is the complete opposite of what you are making it out to be, if it was in a crisis he would of stayed.

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    1. Where'd you get this information?

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    2. Sorry for posting twice, I didn't realize the first one went through. The information that I stated is circulating through Wizard101 facebook page and has been updated the wizard101 wiki page. (Not wizard101 central's wiki) The information does seem to be real, it isn't 100%, but is too elaborate to be a fake. And it is not being taken off the wiki page which leads me to believe it is real. Kingsisle is not denying it or accepting it, yet.

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    3. Well, anyone can edit the Wiki. I can sure be elaborate and go type something completely off in there. That's the same Wiki that told us Bunaria with bunnies was the next world. Besides that, I think Malistaire the Undying, having been sent off in the Spiral, will return as the third arc villain or at least be a part of it.

      Furthermore, KingsIsle doesn't leak. They had Pirate101 in the works for years, and even released it to all of the major fansite owners, and yet not a word came out. I'm just sure this is fake. But an interesting idea.

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    4. Well we will just have to wait and find out. Only time will tell.

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    5. Bunnies would be ridiculous, but they did good with Nosferabbit. And somehow, fighting bunnies, even if they want to rip out your insides, wouldn't seem right.

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  9. Actually I remember hearing that too. Candyland I am sure will have a name change, though with Cool Ranch I could easily see it as a possible pun name. I think it may just be a side area along with Gobberlington in another world. But I think they might be right about that.

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    1. It's Gobblerton and Candy World :P

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  10. I honestly think it would make more sense than Malistaire again. And they have had leaks in the past, they have gotten better. But the Candyland leak was a while back, since then we have had leaks on mounts, worlds, pirate101 future updates. Stuff like that. Bunaria sounds rediculous but the official wikipedia page (protected by only KI approved edits) did at one point have a list of every world in the spiral and there was around 33.

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  11. When will we see Polaris? It was eluded to in zafaria.

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  12. I don't know how about that whole KI doesn't leak thing. I know there was an image going around right before Aquila was released showing new hairstyles, tiki type items, etc...and no one believed it. Then we started hearing about hair drops which were the same ones in the picture, and the Islanders Hoard pack...Someone leaked something...and that leaked picture shows a Frankenstein looking rabbit...

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    1. That is correct. It wasn't a leak on KI's part, he actually had the image. You have the image. I have the image. We all have a bunch of unreleased items in our files that are hidden in binary code (BIN files).

      Someone decided to mess with those files (modifying files is against the ToS and could get you banned), and then send the image around (distributing modfied files is against the ToS). It wasn't actually just shots of new items, it was a list of all of the gear. That's why you saw the first piece being something else already in-game. Finally, people on Central decided to share them (sharing modified files is against the ToS) and people went crazy.

      The Pioneer Dragon threw us off, but that was actually the new mount. The Tiki items were there. And I'll bet the Frankenstein Bunny is a Halloween thing for the coming months - Dworgyn's veggie quest!

      What's really interesting is some of the spells in there that we haven't seen yet, and some of the other things leaked on Central are shocking! Of course, those were taken down. This should be, too.

      I'll just tell you now, people have been banned for stacking plants in-game back when the glitch offered some extra harvests or something. So modifying their files could definitely get you banned. I wouldn't risk it.

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  13. I believe that KI can be cheap at times, but when you think about how much there is to work with in this game - glitching, pvp, leveling, the spells, pets, houses - whatever the object is that they're selling is usually worth it, and KI definitely has to have made enough profit off of those things to last a LONG TIME if anything were to happen. At this rate I'd think they'd have back up funds.

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